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Smoking has been proven scientifically that it can cause many health factors such as lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and many more. Despite this knowledge that has been passed on through generations of how many health concerns smoking leads to, people continue to smoke themselves, or around other people. Smoking causes danger to one’s health but now with further research there is now evidence suggesting smoking can cause problems for those around you.
There is evidence everywhere proving how bad smoking is to one’s health, but how about the loved ones that surround you? Children are known to be more prone to diseases and illnesses than adults. At such a young age where the body is developing and preparing itself for the future, when exposed to these harmful contaminants it can cause serious damage to them. Children that are exposed to secondhand smoke tend to have more ear infections, coughs and colds, respiratory problems, tooth decay and much more. In the case where a child is diagnosed with asthma, the smoke that is being puffed into the air can become a trigger to it. Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airway becomes inflamed making it difficult for them to breathe. When a child with asthma breathes in secondhand smoke it leads to more asthma attacks, and can cause the attacks to be much more severe. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) secondhand smoke causes, “acute lower respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and young children.” Secondhand smoke is exposed in many places, parks, beaches, schools, and playgrounds. These are all environments in which children thrive and play.
How it works
Secondhand smoke can also have long-term risks to children. The act of public smoking poses a threat since it also sends a message to the children that watch. People learn the most starting at a young age, when exposed to those that smoke in public they can learn that smoking might be okay. According to an article by Ronald Bayer and Kathleen E. Bachynski, “By challenging the perception of smoking a normal adult behavior, smokefree policies can change the attitudes and behaviors of adolescents, resulting in a reduction in tobacco use initiation” (HealthAffairs). The exposure of tobacco use at a young age can influence adolescents to act at an early age. This can possibly cause children to learn that it may be fine to smoke since adults are doing it. Due to this reasoning children can act upon this mindset and smoke at an early age which can damage their developing bodies. These children are too young, therefore do not possess the necessary knowledge to realize that these actions are in fact harmful and could possibly kill them. The forbidding of smoking in public places, frequented by the public like parks, playgrounds, outlets, or beaches, can prevent children from learning about these habits in the first place. When seen, children will think that this is a common adult behavior and will try to copy them. Children are at risk of learning these bad habits, but so are young adults. Teenagers at the age of 13-17 tend to worry more about their social life. In doing so, they commit stupid actions such as smoking to look cool. These young teens can pick up used or sometimes accidentally thrown away cigarette packets to smoke in front of their friends to gain some type of recognition. In doing so they are also affected since they are still young. It can become a terrible habit, in which can become very addictive. This results in them smoking for years and years, and what’s worse is they started at such a young age. The ban on public smoking doesn’t always have to be the result of complaints of secondhand smoke but to assure the safety of our children’s future.
Areas where children reside may also implicate that there are parents around, and in some cases pregnant mothers. When a mother breathes in secondhand smoke it also affects the baby inside her stomach. Mothers exposed to secondhand smoke can have many risks. Stated in an article by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “when you’re pregnant, your baby is exposed to harmful chemicals which cause miscarriage, premature birth, lower birth weight (which could mean a less healthier baby), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and learning problems and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).” According to data from NIIH, secondhand exposure during the late 1900s for women have been exponentially high. Around the 1980s, up to 80% of women that are age 4 years and older were exposed to secondhand smoke. The puffs of smoke left in the air where children and mothers roam have a huge negative impact on their health. This is a concerning issue and by forbidding smoking in public places we can safely assure the health of our loved ones.
Secondhand smoke and smoking aren’t the only problems the public worry about, there are also cases which affect the environment. In public settings surrounded by buildings such as restaurants, parks, work buildings, and houses there are times when smoke fires can occur. Smoke fires are disasters that are caused by smoking-related fires. According to a study by UC Davis Health (published in 2000), smoking is a leading cause of fire disaster and death worldwide. This is a problematic issue since there are those that can be affected by this fire. There are many unfortunate cases that are results from these smoking-related incidents such as the Oakland Hills fire in California. Also stated by UC Davis Health, “in which a lit cigarette remains a suspected cause, left 10,000 homeless, destroyed nearly 4,000 dwellings and cost more than $1.5 billion.” This problem is a major concern for the public’s safety and it’s also costing a fortune to fix. Smoking-related fires are costing over 27$ billion yearly, the California, Oakland Hills fire costed more than $1.5 billion, the fire in Mont Blanc Tunnel costed over $1 billion, and the ammonium nitrate explosion costed more than $4 billion dollars. These disasters were all accidents but they all have the same culprit which are discarded cigarette buds not properly put out. Many public areas today and in the past are known to have thousands to millions of discarded cigarette buds lying around on the streets. If not properly put out they can create disastrous outcomes that affect everything around it whether it is people, animals, and the environment. Some found in commercial areas such as piers where it’s built upon a wooden base. Situations in which someone accidentally does not distinguish the flame properly can accidentally cause a fire. Ban of the use of cigarettes in these public areas, especially in flammable areas, can prevent any further possible outbreaks.
Disposed cigarette butts are primarily found in public areas such as parks, playgrounds, beaches, sidewalks, and commercial areas. All once areas that were free of these waste, now cluttered of trash, make it hard for people to enjoy the overall appearance. Nobody likes to see a street or outlet full of these cigarette butts. This all contributes to earth’s overall pollution. These discarded cigarette butts can become a potential choking hazard to wildlife and children that find it on these areas. There can be situations in which a young child playing in the sand at the beach or playground can find a cigarette butt and be tempted to put it in their mouth. This holds many risks since the cigarette butts contain many chemicals that are harmful to one’s body. Wild animals roam human populated areas all the time, such as birds. Birds and other wild animals can pick these discarded cigarette butts which they may mistake as food.
The ban on public smoking should have been inputted long ago. Many people consider this ban either because it’s a health issue, a concern due to the impact it has on young minds, or just because it is a nuisance to them. There are many activities that were banned due to the possible impact it had on children, these activities include sexual acts in public,gambling, and nudity. With so many negative impacts smoking has on the smoker or those around it, it would make sense to implement a law where smoking is banned in public places.
The positive effects of banning public smoking outweighs the negative.
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